on the record: January 2008 Archives

Normally in this blog I write about American orchestras, often reporting on experiences I have while visiting them. I do not use this space to review recordings or books. But I must make an exception for Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). If you read only one book about music this year, make it this one...

January 24, 2008 3:01 PM | | Comments (4)

For those who doubt that orchestra life was very hard in "the good old days," this should set you straight. I was recently researching information about the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, and happened upon details of the Berlin Philharmonic's 1951 month-long tour. I thought I'd share it with you just for amusement, really, and for insight into orchestra life a half century ago...

January 18, 2008 9:45 AM | | Comments (2)

If you look at the concert programs of virtually any orchestra in, let us say, Sweden, you will find a meaningful number of works in each season of music by Swedish composers of whom most of us have never heard (or, perhaps, have encountered very occasionally) in America. Franz Berwald, Johann Roman, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Hugo Alfvén, Kurt Atterberg, these names would be just the tip of the iceberg. The same thing would happen in almost any other country. Belgium, France, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Brazil, Russia, Finland, all of these keep in the repertoire some reasonable representation of their own native musical history. This makes a great deal of sense - and not merely because of nationalistic hubris. The music of any country is meaningfully related to its language...

January 11, 2008 10:04 AM | | Comments (4)

On December 7 I attended a fascinating and captivating concert at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. I had not encountered the group before - a string orchestra known as The Knights - and I did not know quite what to expect. The program looked varied, to say the least - Lutoslawski's Overture for Strings, two world premieres (the second a brief harpsichord solo) of very attractive pieces by Philip Bigar, a Haydn keyboard concerto, a Torelli concerto grosso, Bartók's Divertimento for Strings, and some Roma Gypsy songs...

January 4, 2008 11:56 AM | | Comments (1)


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This page is a archive of recent entries written by on the record in January 2008.

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